Home / Home / Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 4MATIC Review – Bettering the Best

 

Maybach GLS 600

As with every review, how it goes is about as important as how it feels. The Maybach GLS 600 has no V12 but it does get a bespoke biturbo V8. The AMG-built “M177” 4.0-litre engine, with two twin-scroll turbochargers nestled inside the V-angle, is specifically tuned to deliver refined and effortless acceleration; more so in the brand-specific “Maybach” drive mode. This aspect is furthered by the EQ Boost. Yes, it’s a 48-volt mild-hybrid powertrain and the resultant 558 hp and 730 Nm of peak torque from the V8 petrol engine are assisted by the EQ Boost system. The 16-kW integrated starter/generator (ISG) serves up an additional 22 hp and 250 Nm, filling in when urgent acceleration is warranted and also saves fuel when coasting. There are six drive modes on offer: Comfort, Sport, Maybach, Curve, Off-road, and Individual. In Comfort mode, the engine is programmed to save fuel further by shutting down half the cylinders between 800 and 3,250 rpm until it receives driver input or exceeds that engine speed range. The nine-speed automatic is paired to the 4MATIC intelligent all-wheel drive that smartly distributes the power between the front and rear axles, with up to 100 per cent going to either set of wheels. The wheels are massive 22-inchers, as standard, with 285/45 front and 325/40 rear rubber. There are optional 23s.

The engine fires up without a crank. The ISG does the work of turning it over without a second thought and the Maybach GLS 600 is ready to go. It will sprint from standstill to 100 km/h in just 4.9 seconds. For a 2.8-tonne mobile studio apartment, that’s astonishing! The top speed is limited to 250 km/h. The in-gear acceleration is extremely potent, too. The climb from 40 to 80 km/h is a flex of the foot on the Maybach-stamped pedal away. The floor carpeting, too, looks extra thick but it’s a far cry from the fluffy lambs’ wool carpets in the Bentley, but I digress. In “Maybach” mode, the ride quality is unlike any Mercedes I’ve experienced before. The air springs with adaptive damping make for a supple ride with perfectly tuned compression an incomprehensible rebound. It flattens large speed humps and simply floats over them. Only the small, deep ruts were what affected the ambience, with a thud filtering through; more heard than felt. It’s a pleasant ride and what I really had to watch out for was traffic.

Maybach GLS 600

“Maybach” mode is exclusive to MM models.

At well over two metres wide, the Maybach GLS didn’t shrink around me as much as I’d have liked. Dealing with two-wheeler traffic had the blind-spot monitor on overtime and my brow warding off beads of sweat. The multi-zone climate control works fine but some things are a different sort of challenge. Once out of the chaos, the cabin feels more enjoyable. The huge sunroof makes for an even more airy feeling. Yet, there was more to do. “Curve” mode selected and I was off doing something I wasn’t expecting: attacking corners with the thing.

Maybach GLS 600

The GLS tilts into the corner up to three degrees in three stages while tackling the bends, making for less roll and a more stable feel inside the cabin. The steering feel and feedback are excellent and, now, I felt it shrink around me as I liked it. It felt nimble and easy to manoeuvre and I couldn’t believe the expression it plastered on my face then.

Maybach GLS 600

However, there was more. Off-road mode on the Dynamic Select toggle raises the car up by 25 millimetres and prevents the side-steps from opening out. The GLS can handle more of the rough stuff than I first believed it could; a 3.1-metre wheelbase made me believe otherwise. Yet, the power delivery to the wheels with the best footing was evident and appreciated. The 235-mm maximum ground clearance is enough although the ramp breakover angle isn’t the most confidence-inspiring. There’s another party trick: the (optional) E-Active Body Control comes with Free Driving Assist — popular as “bouncy mode” — that pumps the air suspension that rocks the car free; particularly useful when bogged down in sand. This works at a speed of up to 15 km/h.

Now, the rear seat. The Maybach GLS is primarily intended to be chauffeur-driven and the two individual seats are the best part about the car; complete with reclining back-rests, head-rest with soft cushions, and a Maybach leather-covered pillow, too. The experience is truly special. The Maybach drive mode sees the two rear seats in the suspension net’s sweet spot. Perfectly cushioned and subject to the float-iest ride. Moreover, the Burmester premium sound system can be set up to deliver the most immersive audio experience to a particular location within the cabin. It’s a refined experience of among the highest order. Among, I say, because we cannot deny the existence of the Range Rover L (from Rs 2.2 crore), the Bentley Bentayga (from Rs 4.1 crore), and the next step up, the Rolls-Royce Cullinan (from Rs 7 crore). There are loads of assistance features, but one thing this GLS skipped from the Maybach S-Class equipment list was the Beltbag inflatable seat-belts. I’m sure it’s perfectly safe even without them, though.

Maybach GLS 600

All said and done, the Maybach is best specified with four seats for an experience that is true to the brand. There is a lot that goes into it to make that experience special. While some may consider it great as an everyday family car, I believe it can be, too, but it’s just as good demolishing distances. However, our test car came with a huge space-saver spare in a dedicated mould together with high-vis safety vests in the boot. That pretty much negates the 520-litre boot volume and leaves space just for a couple of handbags. The base ex-showroom price is Rs 2.43 crore, that’s for a five-seat V8-powered GLS with Maybach badges and fancier wood trim. Our test car (I checked in the configurator) came to Rs 3.64 crore. The options can take the price up to Rs 4 crore or more. Then there are the accessories. However, if it’s the pinnacle of the three-pointed star you seek, look no further than the Maybach GLS 600.

Maybach GLS 600


Need to Know – Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 4MATIC

Price: Rs 2.43 crore (ex-showroom), Rs 3.64 crore (ex-showroom, as tested)

Engine: 3,982 cc, biturbo V8 petrol, 48-volt mild-hybrid
Max Power: 558 hp @ 6,000-6,500 rpm
Max Torque: 730 Nm @ 2,500-4,500 rpm
ISG Assist: 16 kW (22 hp), 250 Nm
Transmission: Nine-speed, automatic, all-wheel drive
Suspension: Double wishbone front, multi-link rear, air springs
Weight: 2,785 kg


Any Maybach GLS Rivals?

Yes, there are a few.

Rolls-Royce Cullinan

What? The ultimate luxury high-riding vehicle.
Why? If you want only the best…
How much? From Rs 7 crore.

Bentley Bentayga

What? VW Group’s super-luxury SUV.
Why? Because it has even more options, even in the powertrain department.
How much? From Rs 4.1 crore.

Land Rover Range Rover L

What? The go-to all-road luxury SUV for many.
Why? If you want to stay pampered while getting the car knee-deep in dirt…
How much? From Rs 2.2 crore.

Volvo XC90 Excellence

What? Sweden’s most luxurious (and safest) SUV.
Why? Can be had with four or even three seats. Plug-in hybrid petrol is efficient.
How much? From Rs 1.4 crore.


 

 

About the author: Jim Gorde

 

Automotive Correspondent at Car India and Bike India.
Believes that learning never stops, and that diesel plug-in hybrids are the only feasible future.
t: @CarIndia/@BikeIndia
IG: @carindia_mag/@bikeindia

 

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